Posted by: Gilad Lev-Shamur | December 7, 2009

PMO series -part 4: Creating the PMO website

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This is the fourth part in the PMO series. This post will give short description of the PMO website development. It will describe simple model for that site and some useful tips when building it on SharePoint platform.

The PMO website is a basic tool for the developed PMO, which want to improve knowledge gathering and sharing, improve communication among project teams and advance projects control.

We can choose any structure we want to the PMO site. Nevertheless, I present here a structure which I found very useful and contain the basic modules. We will use it to explain the needs from this site:

As we can see, we have several public modules:

  • Shared documents area contain: general documents, templates, PMO monthly reports, procedures and so.
  • Shared tasks contain: tasks from PMO meetings and all other tasks not concerning specific project.
  • Shared calendar area contains all the relevant PMO dates:  project selection cycles, meetings, commit and spend dates.
  • The useful links is a web part which contains some links, internal or external to the organization, relevant to the PMO staff and website users.

In addition to the public areas, every project manager has its own project sites, open to his project teams and PMO staff.  We can see, for example, some of the modules a project website contains:

  • Project documents: all project documents arranged in specific folders.
  • Project tasks: tasks given in design review and project meetings (if the specific meeting doesn’t have its own workspace)
  • Project calendar:  design reviews, commission dates, meetings and so on.
  • RFI: a list which summaries all the RFIs with workflow to manage the approvals.
  • SORs: rejects from commissioning activities, with due dates, responsible contractors and other relevant data.
  • Meeting sites: all the project meeting workspaces.

As I said, we are using SharePoint (MOSS) for our PMO website because of its simplicity and availability. Here are some tips for creating your site and using SharePoint as your platform:

  • Think ahead – sketch your idea on paper. Get advices from everyone involve in the PMO. Do all the thinking you need before jumping to the actual building. After you will start running your site and gather data, it will be difficult to do changes.
  • Tasks- one of the great things MOSS sites have is the ability to send tasks automatically to the task owner, which can present it on his outlook. Use it instead of just sending ARs in mail.
  • Workflows- you can use workflows for approval loops of change orders, SOW approval or very other agreements you needed to track in mails. This feature is one of the great benefits I see in using SharePoint.
  • Give permissions smartly (SharePoint allow you to defind exactly the level of control you want to give to your sites/file/folders and so on). Do not allow access to everyplace to all your people. Allowing full control should be done with specific caution or your site will look like a mess.
  • Promote it- site not in use will die. Work with your team and learn them how to use it.
  • Appoint owner to the site. He will be responsible to the site maintenance and upgrades.

 

To summarize this post: A PMO website will upgrade your control and improve your performance. Implementing it on SharePoint is easy, but can be done on other platforms.

Good luck!

Gilad

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